Why did I love this book?
This was the first ever book I read as a child of seven years old. I sat on my grandmother’s sofa in Leicester, bored, and I picked up this worn burgundy hardback and opened it looking for the pictures. Before I realised it I had read the first page and was turning to the next. An exciting moment. I subsequently read all the Famous Five books. I didn’t really think of reading them to my son as Enid Blyton is not greatly regarded these days. True, the world she recreates is traditional, especially for women, and it doesn’t challenge kids linguistically but it is not as outdated as I had thought. And there is the fiercely independent George (Georgina) – the girl who wants to be a boy and, of course, the wonderful Timothy (the dog).
There is treasure, adventure, George’s mad scientist father, secret tunnels, islands, castles, and naughty men, who can get quite rough. The roots of the stories are dipped in the real world rather than imaginary which also feels like a step up the reading ladder for kids. I decided to read the first one to my then eight-year-old non-reading boy. He loved it. I subsequently read all of the Famous Five books to him.